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Whitehouse

March 20, 2015

“I’m going to be the President of the United States when I grow up,” my granddaughter states matter-of-factly.  I’m impressed, because when I was her age I wanted to be a giraffe.

 

"Why would you want to be President?"  I ask.

 

“Because I want to make laws that are fair to everyone.  I want to be the first woman President and live in the Whitehouse.”

 

I hate to burst her bubble, but I tell her that there is no way the President can make everyone happy.  The President is lucky to make anyone happy.  That doesn’t seem to faze her.  She’s confident everyone would love her policies.

 

“But by the time you’re old enough, there will already have been a woman President,” I reason.

 

“That’s good!” she says.

 

“But you could live in a white house,” I mutter.

 

“Nope,” she insists, “I’m going to live in the Whitehouse!”

 

I feel guilty for playing the devil’s advocate.  But she seems to have a pretty strong bubble around her. Then she cocks her head to the side and asks, “Does the President need to be good at math?”

 

If she’s going to make a run for the Presidency, she’s gonna need to face every hurdle directly.  So I answer truthfully.

 

“I doubt many Presidents are good at math.  None of them even seem to know how to balance a checkbook.”

 

“Well, I’m very good at math.  I got 100% on my last test.”

 

Shamefully, I sharpen my bubble-popping pin.

 

“When someone runs for President, they need to know that people will be trying to find out everything bad they ever did and use it against them.”

 

“I don’t do anything bad.”

 

“Well, then they’ll make up lies!” 

 

I hate the way I’m sounding.  But she has about as much chance of becoming President as I did of becoming a giraffe.

 

“Well, I don’t care.  I’m going to be the President,” she says, and it's settled. Then, as if she were unleashing a secret weapon, she whispers, “My mom said she would vote for me!”

 

Hmmm.  She’s certainly confident enough to be President.  And cocky enough.  And unrealistic enough.

 

 “I’d vote for you too,” I can’t help admitting.

 

Her smile lights up the world for a radius of at least a mile.  Her pure goodness, her worthy desire, her honesty.

 

Though it’s as far-reaching as a giraffe’s neck, it’s almost enough to give one hope for the future of our nation.  For the future of the world.

 

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